I recall a patient of mine that I was actively treating for neck and back pain. Unaware that chiropractors work in this area, she casually mentioned that she had seen several Otolaryngologists (Ear, Nose Throat Specialists) for earaches and stuffiness in her ear. The patient also had a history of intermittent dizziness which was blamed on the fluid in their ear. Several rounds of antibiotics did nothing to resolve her complaints and meclazine, a medication used to treat dizziness, was not at all helpful for her dizziness but did accentuate her daily headaches. She eventually had tubes surgically placed in her ears as a last ditch effort to resolve her earaches and stuffiness. She did not report having jaw pain, though her jaws clicked routinely.
Examination of the patient showed very clear evidence of TMJ Syndrome and a tailored treatment plan was initiated. The patient is now symptom free: no headaches, no earaches, no stuffiness, no dizziness, a near resolution of her neck discomfort and only occasional jaw clicking and popping. To say she is happy would be an understatement. She says getting accurately diagnosed and properly treated for her TMJ Syndrome was “life changing.”
[note: We elected to use the phrase ‘TMJ Syndrome” almost exclusively in this article even though TMD or Temporomadibular Disorder has become more commonly used in modern medicine. This is for the sake of clarity as most patients still refer to this condition by the historical “TMJ Syndrome” or simply “TMJ”.]